Welcome to the new normal

WITH the coronavirus lockdown easing last week Fermanagh saw its business trade getting back to some sort of normality.
‘Operation Restart’ is being welcomed by everyone even though things are much different from when lockdown first began in mid March.
Businesses across the county have been gearing themselves up for the re-opening of their shops and businesses but have had to incorporate many health safety measures to ensure the safety of everyone. 
Pubs have been given July 3 as their opening date but Mark Edwards manager of Blake of the Hollow, in Enniskillen, says he isn’t scrambling to have the bar open.
“We don’t want to  change what we do just to be a round peg in a square hole. We’re monitoring the information that is coming out regularly and we’re optimistic that social distancing of two metres will be dropped. Now that would change the whole picture,” he said. 
Blakes plan a slow phasing opening with reduced hours and numbers.
“We’ll probably have the Atrium open first because it would be easier. Maybe six or seven hours a day for social drinking. We can accommodate around 100 people comfortably over the two Atrium bars. 
But not within the 3rd July guideline because of the offer of a substantial meal.
That’s  not what we are about. We would rather wait and offer our customers what they want. There are probably a lot of pubs that will rush out just to be seen to be open, but it is taking away from what the Hollow is all about. 
“I believe we won’t entertain night time when we do get a date. We’ll monitor people’s behaviour. I’m hoping and excepting people will adhere to the rules. Everybody knows about social distancing and washing their hands.”
He believes the public have a big part to play for things to move forward.
He added, “There will be no screens in the bars because we don’t want to take away from what we are famous for. If you leave it so sterile and rigid, what is the point of going out,” he said, adding that safety is paramount for staff and customers.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA